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Pooping dog

What Does Normal Puppy Poop Look Like?



This is actually a topic that’s near and dear to my heart these days, since Janice’s babies are just starting on solid food. So far, I figure I’m looking at normal puppy poop, and lots of it. I’ve been changing the bedding regularly, thanks to neighbors who are saving up all their old newspapers for me.

The little guys are eating like crazy, and there’s one monster who likes to sit in the middle of the food dish and chow down. I figure he’s looking around him, and thinking, “Food! Nothing but food as far as the eye can see!”

Well, I seem to be digressing, but regular readers know that’s nothing new!

Back to the topic of normal puppy poop.

How Veterinarians View Puppy Poop

Have you ever wondered how your veterinarians determine your dog’s state of health? My vet, Stephen, welcomes me into the back area when my dogs are being treated, which is another reason why he’s my vet! I’m very much of the belief that the back shouldn’t be off-limits, as long as the client isn’t being annoying or intrusive. Why not, if there’s nothing to hide?

One thing I’ve always marveled at is the row upon row of tool samples in the back. They’re all in jars, and waiting to be evaluated. That’s because poop can tell your veterinarian a lot about your dog’s state of health, and it’s pretty common for a vet to ask for a stool sample.

Most of us, though, don’t think too much about what constitutes normal puppy poop, unless something goes wrong. Usually, this involves an “accident,” like your dog “letting go” all over your carpet, and then all of a sudden, you’re going “Oh, crap!” Pun intended.

Then, maybe you just look at it, clean it up and say “Shit happens.” Pun also intended.

You really only start to think, in any serious way, about puppy poop when it isn’t normal. In other words, when you look at it, and you think “That color’s all wrong,” or “This is way too runny,” or you see something that looks really, really bad.

So, what do you do if things don’t look right? Are there poop emergencies?

There can be, so it’s good to know how to evaluate your puppy’s poop. There are four things to consider – color, consistency, content and coating. You could think of them as the “Four Cs” of puppy poop.

The Four Cs

Before you panic and call the vet over the appearance of your puppy’s poop, evaluate the four Cs.

1. Color

Normal puppy poop is brown. Usually, it’s kind of chocolate-y in color, but it could be a bit lighter or a bit darker, depending on what your dog has been eating and how well-hydrated he is. Usually, though, a color approaching that of milk chocolate is about right.

Extreme color deviations are cause for concern. Black poop, for instance, could indicate bleeding in the digestive tract, high up or even in the stomach. If the poop contains red streaks, that suggests bleeding in the lower colon. Yellow or grey stools can indicate liver, gall bladder or pancreatic diseases or disorders.

You don’t have to worry right away if your dog isn’t passing normal puppy poop. Just as an example, a bit of blood in the stool might just indicate that your dog is a bit constipated, and straining to poo. If the abnormal appearance doesn’t go away within a couple of bowel movements, though, you should see your vet.

2. Consistency

Normal puppy poop should look segmented – kind of like a caterpillar. If the stool is formless, then that suggests that the large intestine isn’t doing its job of re-absorbing water. The segments shouldn’t be much more than two inches long. If the stool looks “pelleted,” then that means that the dog is constipated – there isn’t enough water in the stool, and the dog might be dehydrated.

Again, don’t panic. One or two hard bowel movements don’t mean much, and neither does a couple of movements with loose stools. If it persists, though, you should get your dog checked out.

3. Content

Okay, I know that nobody exactly wants to get up close and personal with poop, but if your dog seems to be lethargic or otherwise “off,” you might want to dissect his poop.

Normal puppy poop shouldn’t look any different from the inside than it does from the outside. If you do decide to snap on a pair of latex gloves and go “mining,” though, what you’re looking for is anything that appears abnormal when compared with the outside.

One thing you might encounter when you break the poop apart is worms. Any worms are cause for concern, whether they look long and skinny, kind of like a bean sprout (which indicates a roundworm infestation), or little rice-shaped segments (which indicate tapeworms).

Other causes for concern are foreign materials. I’ve had a number of dogs that would eat just about anything they found, and in their poop, I’ve found bits of fabric, shredded plastic bags, and even rocks. I don’t worry all that much about what they’ve passed – it’s what they haven’t passed, and could still be inside, wrapping around an intestine or blocking it, that worries me.

That said, parasites can invade already-deposited poop, so if you’re evaluating your puppy’s poop to confirm or rule out normality, you’ll need a fresh sample.

4. Coating

Normal puppy poop shouldn’t appear slimy – as if it has a film or coating over it. A mucous-like coating can mean that there’s inflammation in the bowel. Again, though, wait and see. My Janice once ingested a quantity of cooking oil (my bad; I left stuff where I shouldn’t have left it), and she had a couple of bowel movements that looked pretty greasy. You can take the “wait and see” tactic with this as well, but if your puppy’s poo is still slick after a couple of bowel movements, a visit to the vet would probably be in order.

These are the four things that you need to consider when you’re trying to determine if you’re dealing with normal puppy poop, or if you have a problem.

The Final Word

Most of the time, issues involving puppy poop will work out on their own. We do tend to obsess over our canine buddies, but think of it this way – haven’t you ever had a bowel movement that didn’t look (or feel) all that great? You didn’t go rushing right off to the doctor, did you?

Dog Poop Vitamins On Amazon

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Nutramax 30 Count Proviable Health Supplement for Cats and Dogs
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As long as your dog is drinking, eating and otherwise behaving normally, just give it a little time. On the other hand, if you’re not seeing normal puppy poop within 24 hours, then I think you should err on the side of caution, and get your buddy checked out.

About the Author Ash

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